Everything Conatus stands for is at risk. Hoping to gather enough resistance to save their order, Ember and Barrow attempt a desperate escape. But fate offers little mercy. When their mission is exposed, the couple face relentless pursuit by the supernatural horrors that act on the commands of Eira’s ally: the mysterious Bosque Mar. A shocking revelation forces Ember out of hiding, sending her back into the heart of dark magic at Tearmunn keep, where she must convince her old friend Alistair of her love or face dire consequences. Ember’s deception offers the only chance for the resistance to succeed, but what she discovers in the shadows beneath the keep will shatter her world and bring about the Witches’ War.
Richly sensual and full of magic, action and danger, Andrea Cremer's fifth book set in the Nightshade world is an edge-of-your-seat page turner.
I can't say how much I love Andrea Cremer's writing - it just pulls you into the amazing world she's created and never lets you go. Rise did exactly that. I honestly didn't want it to end; I even went as slow as I possibly could to prolong reading it. Rise is an amazing sequel to Rift - it's got all the action, suspense, shockers, and more romance, too.
Rise picks up where Rift left off, with Ember and Barrow galloping off into the night, and Alistair left without knowing a thing. What I loved most about this book is the fact that Andrea Cremer shows us how a lot of things in the Nightshade trilogy came about. For example, the creation of the Guardians. If you've read Nightshade, you remember the Guardians, right? The... well they're not werewolves, but they can change shape between human and wolf. I found it amazing to watch the origins of the Guardians, however unethical it may have been. It was fascinating and scary at the same time! The creation of the Rift was incredible too. Of course, it's not necessary to read the Nightshade trilogy if you've read the prequel series, but I highly recommend it. If you love the Nightshade world here, you'll definitely love it in the original trilogy!
Ember grows a lot in this book. She's not the same weak-boned girl she was when she first joined Conatus. Her will is as strong as ever, but so is the rest of her. I loved all the action in this book, since it showed how much Ember had learned from her time in Conatus. Even though she's changed, she's still as compassionate as she was in Rift. She cares deeply for her sister, for Barrow, and yes, even for Alistair. Even though Ember was torn between decisions in several situations, I think she ultimately made the right decisions.
Barrow, of course, is as incredible as ever! I liked that he showed a more vulnerable side in Rise. Oh, and if Barrow himself isn't enough of an incentive to read this book, try this out. We get to see Barrow get jealous! Yeah, you read that right. It was hilarious, and I loved how insecure he felt; it made him seem more human, somehow, and less like a god. Plus, he's also really protective of Ember in Rise, but I liked the fact that he respects her enough to let her make her own decisions even though he doesn't agree with them. There are a few really steamy scenes with Ember and Barrow, so look out for those! ;)
I was really conflicted about Alistair in this book. Even though he's siding with Eira and Bosque, he still has this innocence about him that I can't help but like. His love for Ember is also admirable, and I found myself feeling sorry for him on more than one occasion. Of course, that disappeared later. You'll find out why! Anyway, I enjoyed reading about Alistair's interaction with the wolf cubs, because he seemed so attached to them. I think he really loved them, and it showed that he's capable of that kind of love. Alistair himself is extremely conflicted in Rise, and I think his character is the hardest to figure out. In a way he's more complex than even Eira is.
The stakes are much higher in Rise, with the war looming in the wake of the four runaway Conatus guards. There are a lot of shocks, and a lot of moments where my heart was in my mouth. Some parts in this book flow like a movie, and I could actually see the scenes unfolding before my eyes! The action was intense, and Andrea's writing made it all the more enjoyable. There were, however, a few slow parts in this book. Those were hard to follow, but on the whole I loved this book, though not as much as Rift. In a book like this, you'd think there wouldn't be much room for humour, right? Think again! There are some hilarious moments in Rise, which I found a gratifying relief from all the seriousness going on. Here's one particular one I liked -
With a sigh, Jérôme said, “I am not jesting, Lady Morrow. I brought the gown for a purpose. You cannot go to your sister’s husband in that ragged dress you’re wearing.”
“I thought not to go in a dress at all,” Ember answered.
Jérôme’s eyebrows went up. “Well, that would be interesting.”Jérôme is a new character we meet in Rise, and I found myself liking him immediately. He brought most of the comedy to the book, and he's overall a great help to Ember, Barrow, Lukasz and Kael. We also meet Agnes, Ember's sister, for a longer period of time. I have to say I wasn't impressed with her. She's one of those typical old-fashioned girls who sit at home and knit or whatever, and I found myself losing patience with her a lot. I couldn't even bring myself to sympathize with her situation. But Ember really shined through during these times, and I admired her all the more for everything she did for Agnes.
I just found out that this is the final book in the Nightshade Prequel series, so it's just a duology. The ending was great, and I'm satisfied with it, but at the same time I would have loved to know more about what happened next, and how the Keepers and Searchers were created. But I guess Andrea decided to leave some things to our imagination. I'm really sad to have to say goodbye to these amazing characters, because I honestly like them a lot better than those in the Nightshade trilogy. I connected with Ember and Barrow, and I'd love to read more about them.
Rise is a satisfying and beautiful end to the Nightshade Prequel duology, and the heart-stopping action will leave you rooted to your seats, as will the incredible romances. Yeah, that's plural! The character development was amazing, the plot was fast-paced and intense, and the book just flowed really well. But even though I have to say goodbye to these characters, I'm so glad that I don't have to say goodbye to the Nightshade world. There's another trilogy coming out, and I can't wait to see more of the characters from the Nightshade trilogy!